Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Live by Night is directed by Ben Affleck, and it stars him along with Zoe Saldana, Brenden Gleeson, and Elle Fanning. It follows the story of a few gangsters from Boston that set up shop down in Florida. This is the fourth film directed by Ben Affleck. His last film, Argo, won the Oscar for Best Picture in the year of its release. Is Live by Night a good follow-up? Here’s what I thought.
Live by Night was a fun gangster film, but it’s not going to be one that goes down as one of the all-time greats. While watching it, the film was entertaining, but it was never enough to take it to that next level. After seeing this film, I felt no need to talk about it. I didn’t feel the urge to run out and find people to discuss the film with. It’s a film that afterward, you know you’ve seen it, but you don’t necessarily think about it often or want to see it again.
It’s odd, though, because I don’t actually have very many complaints with the film, but I don’t really have anything major to say about the film in general. Almost everything about the film was good, not great. It wasn’t the grand mafia film that transports you back in time, but it wasn’t the completely cliché gangster movie either. It’s like reheating food in the microwave. The food is still good, but it’s not as good as it has been in the past or had the potential to be. You enjoy the food, but it won’t blow you away.
One thing that did bother me in the film were the accents, particularly Zoe Saldana’s. Her accent started off really strong, but gradually over the film she seemed to have abandoned it. I understand the need for the accent, but if she hadn’t have had the accent at all, that would’ve been better than trying to do it in just a couple scenes. It became distracting as the accent faded in and out throughout the film, and it definitely takes you out of it.
There were two performances in the film that really helped to keep it afloat. Those were the performances by Ben Affleck and Elle Fanning. Ben Affleck gave a wonderful performance, as he does in most things he’s in nowadays, so no surprise there. Elle Fanning was the biggest surprise to me about this film. I didn’t even know she was in the film, then she showed up and absolutely owned her character. At times, it wasn’t a very likable character, but she played that really well. She definitely added something extra to the film that helped a lot.
Overall, Live by Night was alright, but it’s not a film that you’re going to be going out of your way to talk about. Ben Affleck and Elle Fanning give really good performances, and the setting of the film was really interesting. Unfortunately, this film falls victim to mediocrity. Aside from some of the accents, the film is never bad, it's just never as good as it could or should have been. If you’re a huge Ben Affleck fan or if you like Mob movies, I’d recommend this. Otherwise, don’t feel bad if you miss it.
So what did you think of Live by Night? Did you enjoy it more than I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! If you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Also, don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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